The Los Angeles Lakers ended their terrible season with a 146-141 overtime victory over the Denver Nuggets.
It was a bittersweet finale to a year that everyone would happily forget.
However, it was also a chance for some of the younger, lesser-known players to shine – including Austin Reaves.
Reaves stood out in a huge way in Sunday night’s game.
Austin Reaves joins Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Magic Johnson and Lonzo Ball as the only rookies with a triple-double in Lakers history. pic.twitter.com/ZcnTjRNBU5
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 11, 2022
Reaves put up 31 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists- securing a triple-double and helping lead the team to victory.
Reaves has caught the eyes of many fans all season long.
Is he a huge part of the team’s future?
Reaves has been living and breathing basketball all his life.
Growing up on a farm in Arkansas, Reaves spent his day shooting ball in his front yard and idolizing Kobe Bryant.
His adoration of Bryant led to his very own folksy nickname: Hillbilly Kobe.
Sure enough, you can see flashes of Bryant in Reaves’ game, especially with his determination and desire to get in the face of his opponents.
At times, he plays some very fearless basketball.
In his first season with LA, he has averaged 7.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game.
He is seen as one of the most promising new guys on the roster.
The good thing about Reaves is that he will only get better if the team fosters his skills and allows him time to enhance and grow his game.
The last few games of the Lakers’ season have allowed Reaves and some of the new guys to play a lot more.
This has reminded many fans that, despite their problems, the Lakers have a great group of young guys ready to lead the team into the future.